Parhelic circles due to plate-oriented crystals (hence, with main axes vertical) and 120° parhelia change in position when viewed through a rotating polarizer. The parhelic circle moves vertically; its largest shift is found at an azimuthal distance between 90° and 120° from the Sun. The 120° parhelia move both vertically and horizontally. The magnitudes of the shifts are between 0.1° and 0.3°, depending on solar elevation. The mechanism is polarization-sensitive internal reflection by prism faces of the ice crystals. We outline the theory and present three visual and one instrumental observation of the displacements of these halos in polarized light.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: June 6, 1997
Revised Manuscript: September 16, 1997
Published: March 20, 1998
Günther P. Können and Jaap Tinbergen, "Polarization structures in parhelic circles and in 120° parhelia," Appl. Opt. 37, 1457-1464 (1998)